Album: Amo (2018)
Charted: 55

Songfacts®:

  • This eerie rock anthem finds Oli Sykes criticizing people who are too willing to follow the crowd and put their faith in things they don't understand.

    Do you wanna start a cult with me?
    I'm not vibrating like I oughta be
    I need a purpose, I can't keep surfing
    Through this existential misery


    The song was inspired by the documentary Wild Wild Country, which tells the story of the controversial Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho), who traveled from India to America to start a cult.
  • The song was birthed when Sykes was writing lyrics and watching TV in the studio and he stumbled across Wild Wild Country. The singer told NME that he was struck by the similarities between starting a cult and embarking on a relationship or a marriage. "You've got to give yourself over to a person and trust them and love them unconditionally," the BMTH frontman explained. "Whatever they say goes and you have to have this blind faith towards them. You might have to give up your whole life to be with them."

    "That's how it started," Sykes continued. "It kind of blossomed into being about a bit more than a relationship, because I think we are quite tribal people. People want to belong to a cult. I think it's a problem now more than ever, because people say they want to believe in someone, then they don't want to admit that it's wrong because it doesn't agree with what they initially said."
  • "Mantra" was released as the first single from BMEH's sixth studio album Amo. Prior to the song's premiere, the band launched a mysterious campaign, including a billboard that read "Do You Want To Start A Cult With Me?" - a line that is the track's opening lyric.
  • The song's music video depicts Oli Sykes as a cult leader, whose followers hang on his every word. The singer wrote the visual's treatment himself. He explained:

    "The video is about this guy who starts a cult, that's me. Basically, he's depressed, disillusioned and brainwashed from watching TV and doing nothing with his life.

    He decides to start this cult which does a lot better than he expected and gets out of hand until the rest of the world is in it. The government is talking about it and it becomes a problem.

    Then the guy who started the cult is in the same position at the end, he's still watching TV and unhappy because he realizes he doesn't want all this stuff. He doesn't want to be loved by everyone."
  • The song came about when the band realized they needed to write something that bridged the gap between what they'd written for Amo and the tracks on their previous album, That's the Spirit. Keyboardist Jordan Fish explained to Kerrang:

    "We had a bunch of songs we were really happy with, but we didn't have that one that we felt we could come back with, as the album is so varied there was no middle ground between what we'd done before and the new material. Once we had that conversation, that subconsciously pushed us towards writing 'Mantra.' It's not necessarily representative of the record per se, but you could say that about any of the songs out of the context of the album."
  • The readers of UK's Kerrang magazine voted this their favorite song of 2018.
  • Oli Sykes wanted Forest Whitaker to play role of the red-robed cult leader in the song's music video; the pair struck up an unlikely friendship after the actor accompanied his daughter to a Bring Me gig in Atlanta.

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